Re: What Makes a Review Worthwhile?
I can accept that there are characteristics and properties of music or literature that can be objectively identified or quantified (at least in ordinal terms if not cardinal). A story might be said to have well crafted characters, detailed world building, a fast-moving plot, a multi layered mystery, etc. But whether the presence or absence of these characteristics makes that better or worse book is itself a personal, subjective judgement.
My point is the very notion of whether something is good or bad is very much in the camp of being a subjective judgement.
To illustrate my point, and to continue with the music analogy, when punk came along in the mid seventies, it lacked most if not all of the objective characteristics that would have led most people judge it bad music. But that was exactly the point, to strip music back down to basics, to be simple enough that almost anyone could play it. The singing would have been considered bad by anyone using the conventional (at the time) criteria to judge it but wouldn't that be missing the point?
So I guess I can at least agree with you in part. That are things that can be objectively considered when it comes to reviewing books but your final judgement as to whether that it is a good book must ultimately be subjective.